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Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???

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Joseph Hung
Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 10, 2010 at 6:55:00 pm

Hello Gurus,

This is an age old topic, and I've done quite a bit of research on this. But I still have a problem and have some questions that I hope some pros can maybe shed some light on.

Editing in a ProRes 422 HQ sequence of a mixture of stills and graphics, footage bought from Getty, and footage shot on the Canon 5DMKII. 1920x1080 23.98 fps. All video is confomred to the same codec and settings, and stills are only as large as I need them to be, ie. if I'm only zooming in by 20% I'll keep that still around that size...And yes I am doing this online and not offline, but with ProRes it usually isn't a problem.

I get dropped frames upon playback, and randomly. As I play out the 30 or so minute timeline, it will frequently drop frames and I get the warning dialog window stating that RT extreme has determined it being caused by slow disks.

I find this very hard to believe. I have two 1 TB 7200 RPM Seagate Barracudas internally software striped into a RAID 0 (I back up manually so I'm not worried about redundancy, only about speed performance). I keep my capture scratch on this RAID, my project file and applications on my main boot drive.

I've tried several things: Switching between Safe and Unlimited RT, Playing Base Layer Only, Playback at 50%, Framerate at half, messing with stills cache in preferences, turning off wireframe, all pictures are at fit in window, real time audio mixing at 4 or 6 tracks depending, futzing with real time video compression, etc. The dropped frames happen randomly, and there aren't any filters/effects, yet as I'm about to start the color correction phase.

When I was getting lots of dropped frames (the playback would stop every minute or two sometimes), I would restart my system, and that helped for a short while, then it's back again. At this time I kept both audio VO wav files and such with my video and other stills and graphics elements on the RAID together. Then, through trolling the internet for solutions, I found on the Blackmagic site a suggestion of moving VO and other audio to a separate drive. I did that to the third volume on my computer, also a 1 TB 7200RPM drive but by WD. This seemed to help alot. Also mixing down my audio to 2 tracks helped too. But I still get random dropped frames, just not as bad as it was before.

I'm not really sure what else to do.
1) Is it just that my computer CPU is not fast enough? Or my graphics card is not beefy enough? I've maxed out my graphics card for this computer model...
2) Will installing a RAID controller card really help in this situation? Eventually I will get an external RAID chasis, but right now I don't want to be installing/updating in the middle of this project. I've read that throughput can be better with a card, but it depends on usage. Is this really necessary?
3) Could it be my Seagate RAID drives themselves? Blackmagic comes with a program that clocks the I/O speeds of disks, I'm clocked my RAID and it was definitely somewhere close to the 200Mb/s. this should be plenty right? When I get home tonight I'll post the actual numbers.
4) I've also run diagnostics on my RAID drives with TechTools and all looks good. I've read that defragging capture scratch disks is a No No. Is this true?

Any ideas are really appreciated.

Thanks,
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 10, 2010 at 7:20:29 pm

The dropped frame warning should simply be turned off. Reason is, that it shows up when the sequence can't play unrendered effects too... The more CPU you have the less you'll see the message. Also if it's not this causing your problem, look to the drives. If they are really full, they slow down a lot.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

DVD:http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 10, 2010 at 9:29:21 pm

Thanks for the response Jerry. There are really no effects except simple compositing and cross fades/opacity levels, still moves, etc. Super simple stuff that my computer should be able to handle.
I'm afraid it could be my drives, but if they are clocking in at just under 200 MB/s, I don't see what the deal is there.
None of the volumes are even at 60% full.
I've also tried deleting any empty video and audio levels to keep real time rendering at a minumum.
I did realize one thing though, I have to take a look at my boot drive. I just realized that my boot drive is older, it's 500 GB, I just recently swapped boot drives to this one before this project started. I think it's 7200 RPM, but I could be wrong. It could certainly be dying on me.
Thanks,
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Anthony Dias
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 11, 2010 at 9:32:55 pm

Just out of curiosity, try and see what happens when you close the Viewer window.

Just curious, because I was having dropped frames left and right whenever the motion or filters tab was open in the Viewer... but if I close the viewer, the dropped frames problem goes away.

I posted about this in two other places, but I guess I'm still being "moderated" so my posts don't show u p right away.

I'm pretty sure this is the same bug. I have FCP 7.0.2 AND Snow Leopard 10.6.4

Good luck.


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 12, 2010 at 8:05:46 pm

Thanks Anthony, tried it, and other variations, and to no avail. I ran the Blackmagic disk speed tests:
Boot Disk: 62.3 MB/s Read, 49.4 MB/s Write
RAID 0: 190 MB/s Read, 182 MB/s Write

I think my boot disk is slow. In System Profile, it lists my boot drive with a link speed of 3Gbit, and a "Negotiated Link Speed" of 1.5 Gigabit. At first I thought my RAID drives were bad, but it seems they are holding up speed tests.

Could this be the culprit? I have plenty of space on all drives, I can't imagine what is bogging down my system.

Help!

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 12, 2010 at 8:59:48 pm

Your drive speeds are fine, they are likely not the problem.

What are your playback settings in the RT menu set to, what are your sequence settings? What is the source material? all one format or?

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

DVD:http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 12, 2010 at 9:36:51 pm

Hi Jerry,
These settings are what I'm usually on, because through experimentation, it gets worse using other options.
RT popup menu: I'm usually on safe, it runs smoother on it, video playback for just viewing usually medium, high when i'm doing CC, Full frame playback, multiclip playback on, record to tape full quality, there are settings for when the scopes are up.
i'm going to turn off multiclip and record to tape because i haven't tried that yet.
Sequence settings: HDTV 1080i 16:9, square pixels, 23.98 fps, Apple ProRes 422 HQ, 48K 24bit,
Video Processing: Render 10bit in high precision YUV, max white is white, and motion filtering is normal.
Render Control: filters and frame blending checked, 100% frame rate render, 100% resolution render, codec same as sequence.
I haven't changed much of the sequence settings, because I figure that's what I want right? Especially during CC and finalizing.
Everything in the timeline has been transcoded to the Sequence settings codec. Shot on the 5DMKII, a 30p, transcoded, conformed, retimed. Lots of stills and video from Getty transcoded, conformed and retimed if necessary. the audio files are mixed down 2 track wavs on a different drive at this point. i'm going out to BluRay DVD, and eventually a post house will take my ProRes output and lay it to HDCAM.
Again, it's sporadic and sometimes it's worse other times it can play for a long time without interruption.
All unecessary apps and processes have been disabled. I have a feeling my capture scratch is too full of unnecessary stuff. May try to media manage as this is pretty much the final cut, bring that into a new project and go from there. However, this will have to happen after the opening, and i'm on a tight deadline so gotta just power through and get it done first. There will b e more work after the opening, so a kind of fresh start might be good.
Thanks for any insight...
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 14, 2010 at 3:47:49 pm

Any other thoughts anyone? I'm pretty stumped and can't figure out what is bogging down my system. Can my graphics card be dying, and does that effect playback in FCP? Do I need to do a fresh install of FCP/OSX?
Any ideas are welcome and appreciated.
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Anthony Dias
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 14, 2010 at 7:03:52 pm

Have you tried opening the activity monitor to see what happens when you press play in FCP?

I am on a small network and sometimes, usually when I am file sharing with another computer, there will be a spike in activity in the Network pane that coincides with the dropped frames. In my case, this was because I was accessing a file from another computer.

Also, keep an eye on the %CPU column. See if anything goes crazy when you press play. (obviously, you'll have to move the FCP windows around to see the Activity Monitor in the Background. In fact, this is how I figured out that my Viewer window Motion and Filters tabs were associated with my dropped frames.

Also, check your Energy Saver settings... see what happens if you check and uncheck the "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible. This can cause dropped frames if you are accessing a different scratch disk which has been asleep, but it doesn't account for dropped frames over and over again.

A more extreme approach (if you have time on your hands) would be to install FCP 6 and OS x 10.5... Then, see how it works. Do the "combo" updates if necessary, and see if you still get dropped frames.

Unfortunately, I don't remember which codecs are supported in FCP 6, but you could find that out fairly quickly if you look it up.

Anyway, I understand the frustration of having a "top of the line" computer and getting dropped frames. Unfortunately, it probably won't change for the better any time soon.


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 1:07:54 pm

Yes, I monitored through Activity Monitor and it spikes a little for sure, which I think is normal when I hit play, but it doesn't seem to coincide with anything obvious. Maybe I'm missing it...
No network here, and I just tried a few things, like cleaned the intake on the fan to my graphics card, turned off mirror on desktop when i need to watch on my broadcast monitor and not in the canvas, checked my pci-e utilities settings to make sure i'm not dumping too much bandwidth to my Blackmagic card (only needs x1), etc. All these things seems to help, esp. the mirror on desktop toggle. A PITA for sure when I have to constantly go back into A/V setings to switch it on and off.
I think this is a number of things, and I'm slowly widdling away at it. Checking out my graphics card and cleaning it and mirror on desktop helped alot, I can play for 10-15 minutes now, but still get the random dropped frames due to slow disks.
Yes, it is frustrating when you know your machine can handle it, because others with the same machine and set up and in similar situations don't have issues like this. It's a little ridiculous that I can't play this timeline down without going through so many hoops just to get it to play without interruptions. I'm definitely missing something obvious...

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Rafael Amador
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 1:15:47 pm

Run Diskwarrior or TechTools.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 3:08:51 pm

Safe taxes the machine the most, in that it will report errors, and dropped frames sooner... try setting it to unlimited, and set the rest of the settings there to a lower quality playback. If you render material that has any effects applied, it will playback in high quality without dropping frames.

Any unrendered material is going to tax the machine the most. Doesn't matter what the effect is, but unrendered material will cause the dropped frame error sooner. It's just the way it is...

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

DVD:http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 3:18:35 pm

Thanks everyone. I have run TechTools and drives seem fine. I will try to keep it on Unlimited, but in the past it brought more errors than not. That's a good point though Jerry, and didn't think of it that way. Even with filters, effects, I always render it, whether it's a green or red bar.
Still stumped. And thanks for the feedback.
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Rafael Amador
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 3:43:39 pm

[Joseph Hung] "I have run TechTools and drives seem fine. "
is your System directories what you have to fix. Also Files Finder Info, B-trees etc.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:16:12 pm

Sorry Rafael just saw your response. I'm a little afraid to run anything of that sort right now. But I will definitely do this after I deliver this, and with a media managed backup offline.
Thanks!

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 3:46:21 pm

Oh and I should add that energy saver and screensaver and all that is always off. I always render. When I'm doing grading or anything image critical, I do need to see things in high quality to make the best decisions.

Jerry: You're saying even though my playback setting are on medium or low, if I render the clip with effects, etc. it will automatically play at high?

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Jerry Hofmann
Buying a new mac considerations...
on Sep 15, 2010 at 4:01:07 pm

Yes they will playback in full quality even if the playback settings are set to be lower. All these lower playback quality settings are ignored if you set it to "Safe" BTW... They only come into the mix when Unlimited is selected.

http://supermeet.com/live/index.html

In that presentation, there's a dandy explaination of all those RT settings and how to use them to their best advantage.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

DVD:http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Joseph Hung
Re: Buying a new mac considerations...
on Sep 15, 2010 at 5:27:08 pm

HUH, didn't know that. Still learning everyday, and till the day I die.
Thanks Jerry, I'll take a look at that link.

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Anthony Dias
Random questions for Dropped Frames...
on Sep 15, 2010 at 7:34:46 pm

I agree with Rafael and highly recommend DiskWarrior... not so much for the dropped frames problem (which it might fix), but for the simple fact that it fixed a RAID 1 pair of drives which my computer was unable to read/write.

DiskWarrior is not a defrag tool, Instead it fixes any directory problems there might be on your drive... you can see more info on that here http://www.alsoft.com/diskwarrior/details.html

Another thing you made me think about was when you said "I always render it, whether it's a green or red bar. "

My preference is to use the "Render All - Both" command (Option-R) with all the options checcked.

But whatever render command you use, if you select it with your mouse up in the menu, is everything checked up and down the line?

Also, on the timeline, where do the dropped frames usually occur? is it at transitions, edit points or randomly in the middle of a clip?

Do you have "show audio waveforms" turned on? (does the dropped frame occur when your playhead reaches the far right of your timeline and then causing the timeline itself to scroll over)

Are you viewing your Canvas at 100%, 50% or 67% (or whatever %).

Where are your Waveform Cache and Thumbnail Cache located? (if they are on your main drive, and if your main drive has been idle/spun-down and suddenly you need to access it...)

What happens if you have iTunes running in the background, with the volume all the way down, playing music off of your main drive (you know, to keep it spinning).

What if you use 16bit audio instead of 24 bit?

Do you get dropped frames if you use ProRes 422 (LT) instead of HQ (duplicate a sequence, change the setting, render EVERYTHING, and see if you get dropped frames?)

Do you get dropped frames in SD?

I guess I'm just throwing random questions, but sometimes, that's the way you'll find your bottleneck.

good luck, and if you ever figure it out... do let us know...


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Anthony Dias
Re: Random questions for Dropped Frames...
on Sep 15, 2010 at 7:45:08 pm

I just realized that perhaps FCP doesn't have live scrolling... I'm not sure where I got that from... maybe all the audio apps I use that do have that functionality?


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Joseph Hung
Re: Random questions for Dropped Frames...
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:18:24 pm

As in high quality scrubbing?
No I have not had this problem with SD or any smaller HD same codec projects. This is the first time with this problem, and it's with a much more complicated edit. I think Rafael might be right, it's my system directories...

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Joseph Hung
Re: Random questions for Dropped Frames...
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:19:34 pm

because this is the first project with this new RAID 0 installed...

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Joseph Hung
Re: Random questions for Dropped Frames...
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:00:58 pm

The dropped frames are random, at edit points sometimes, at transitions, in the middle of the clip.

The audio waveforms are usually turned off when I'm not dealing with audio. I try to keep it all pared down by turning off clip names etc.

Canvas and Viewer are at Fit To Window. Turning off Mirror on Desktop helps alot, but what the heck? I have to go through so much just to watch it down?

16 bit audio will mess up our workflow by throwing off timing since we've been working in 24. I also keep my RT Audio to 4 tracks usually, depending on what I'm doing, and on Low in my User prefs.

The link Jerry sent was helpful in understanding RT Extreme. I'll try some new settings.

Unfortunately, the opening of the show is tomorrow night, so I don't want to do anything drastic at this point. I'm going out to BluRay tonight. When I get this done, I will Media Manage and then clean up the system and RAID a bit and see if that helps. At this time I plan to do some serious testing with my project (backed up of course) and I will report back to this thread. I will also look into Disk Warrior.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Josh Reynolds
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 15, 2010 at 9:20:06 pm

Howdy Joe,

First off all of your hardware sounds rock solid and I thinks it's far more likely that it is a bug in FCP. There are many.

I have some questions.

How are you're photos encoded? TIFF, JPG, PNG?


I've had some problems with final cut not dealing with tiff images very well.

What tools did you use to conform this footage to ProRes?

On one Project I ran into very mysterious problems which were caused by setting the After Effects setttings to 23.98 fps. There is no actual 23.98 frame rate. The ACTUAL frame rate is 23.975 and folks just got tired of saying one more digit. Also I think the final cut team was unable to add another decimal place in the app and although your sequence says 23.98, I assure you it is in fact 23.975. Anyway that one really burned me.

Have you tried repairing permissions on your System Drive and then rebooting?


This actually frequently helps.

How is your audio encoded?

MP3 = FCP hell.


Finally, sometimes projects just get wonky. I sometimes am able to fix cranky projects by the following steps:

* Create a new project with a different name
* Create a new sequence in that project with your desired settings
* Open the old sequence in the old project and hit CMD-A or drag select all
* CMD-C or Copy
* Click over to the new Sequence in the new Project and
* CMD-V or Paste
* Close the old project, render the sequence and see if that works.

It doesn't sound like this is going to affect your output so that's good.

Good Luck!


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 16, 2010 at 4:19:20 pm

Hi Josh, thanks for the reply:
- Photos are mostly jpg, sized according to use. Some are tiffs, which I have had problems with. I had major issues with PNGs crashing my FCP so I avoid those at all costs. I'm also using psd files with transparency.
-I acutally haven't had to use After Effects on this project, which is abnormal. I hear you I had that exact problem before with the framerate. Anyways, the 5DMKII was shot in 1080p30 (24p firmware came out in the middle of production so we opted to continue what we were doing instead of changing workflow half way through). What I've done was altered Philip Bloom's workflow. Transcoded footage to ProRes 422 HQ with Compressor, sometimes MPeg Streamclip, then conformed to 23.976 in Cinema Tools. If I needed to retime it for audio sync I would do so with Compressor, but any B roll or shots that would be over VO I just left it. This workflow helped alot with the Jello effect and some of the aliasing inherent in the Canon HDSLRs.
I went this way because the final product looked better than the normal Transcode AND Conform with Compressor in one go. Compressor did a horrible job with predicting motion and the movement and pans were stuttery and blocky. MPeg Streamclip was fast, and the conform with Cinema Tools really made it smooth and nice looking. If I needed lipsync, then I would go to Compressor and retime that specific clip.
- Yes, I've repaired permissions AND tried doing a Safe Boot to try and fix any problems. It helped a little but eventually it was the same old same old.
- Audio are wav or aiff. No MP3s I've had those hellish problems before too.

I've spoken to a number of friends about this. One of them, an Apple certified FCP rep, said that it is most likely the bottlenecking happening with SATA connections. Because I'm stuck at 7200 RPM 3 GB/s drives, the throughput is just not being allowed through, even though my RAID is clocking in at 190 MB/s. He is pretty sure that if I invested in a RAID controller to allow me to use an external RAID array, thus allowing me to use 10k drives at 6 GB/s, faster connection such as SAS or fiber optics, my problems would be solved.
Another thought is that my RAM and my RAID drives are all new to this project. I have to do tests to see if there are any issues with this hardware.
I also think that my directories are a bit scrambled and a little house cleaning could help. I did a test with a Quicktime output of the whole timeline, same codec and settings, brought it into a new project, streamed from my RAIDs. I only got 2 interruptions in the playback. That's a sign for sure I think.
Let me know what you think, thanks.
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 16, 2010 at 7:18:05 pm

found the white paper for ProRes 422. Found some first hand accounts of RAID systems and ProRes. I'm pretty sure that my setup for scratch disk is not enough. Plus I'm using HQ which is pointless, 422 is sufficient by all means, especially since we shot on a 5DMKII, there isn't enough information to warrant HQ.
422 HQ requires 220 MB/s. With my sata connection speed and RAID setup, I'm not hitting this requirement, bottleneck or not. The real question is if had a 422 project, would it be a problem?
I'm pretty much 90% confident that in order to edit online ProRes 422 HQ, I will need a RAID card and an Array, or a capture card with acceleration, to sustain read/write speeds required. Therein lies the problem. I now know better and will stick with 422 for most projects.
It's always the obvious isn't it? Thanks for the help everyone.
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 16, 2010 at 7:23:01 pm

Better read that white paper again... The data rate is a LOT lower than that. HQ will run on a single FW 800 drive. (one stream in it's sleep).

Jerry

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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 17, 2010 at 5:15:42 pm

No! I don't want to hear that. I see what you are saying. The comparative data rate chart lists 1080 23.976 at 176 Mbps. Damn, stumped again.

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 17, 2010 at 5:56:47 pm

Yeah. When is the last time you rebuilt your startup disk? It might be time.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

DVD:http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 17, 2010 at 6:56:48 pm

When you say rebuilt, do you mean a reinstall of OSX? It's been awhile since I've done that. I thought of doing it, but I wanted to wait until this project is delivered. Luckily, I can still continue to work.

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 20, 2010 at 3:00:37 pm

SO! A week or so ago I ran some tests to determine if my RAID was dying, and everything came back hunky dory.
Yesterday afternoon, I opened up Disk Utility to verify permissions on my boot drive, and guess what I noticed? One of the 1TB Seagates in the RAID 0 was highlighted red. It has a hardware problem and cannot be fixed. It seems this drive has been dying for awhile but hasn't reached critical yet so no app was able to catch it. I've been running with a bum leg it appears.
I hope this solves the issue. And the fact that I'm about to build my own DIY RAID 5 8TB external array with a dedicated hardware RAID card. That should put this whole beast to bed.
Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions. I love this forum.
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
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Peter Berg
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 20, 2010 at 9:59:45 pm

I am in the same situation here and was looking for a little help. I've read through this thread and tried the ideas presented. I still get dropped frames when I playback.

In my case I have a 90min timeline, 1920x1080, 23.98p, Uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2, 2 tracks of audio (16bit 48khz AIFF's). I am just trying to play back to my standalone dvd burner (Since I can't get quicktime references to export). Dropping frames at various points in the timeline. Very Frustrating since I think it should not be happening. I also have a fully rendered timeline (only some dark blue lines in the render bar area).

Can anyone shed any light on this one? I did a clean wipe of my system about 2 months ago and did a fresh install of Final Cut Studio 2 (I'm on 6.0.6). I have a G5 - Dual 2.5 CPU's, 8GB of ram. My drive system is a RAID 5 with a 4 drive stripe, connected via SAS to a Highpoint RAID card.

When I run the AJA disk speed tool, I get around 305 MB/sec. when I look at the graph, the read speed is very consistent. I have about 15-20% space free on the RAID. I did try to trash the prefs and repair disk permissions on my C: (boot) drive.

Can anyone help please??

-Peter


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Joseph Hung
Re: Dropped Frames on Playback WHAT???
on Sep 21, 2010 at 5:49:40 pm

From what I've learned so far, it could be that your system is a G5 and uncompressed 10bit is gigantic. Also, have you tried checking the SMART status of your RAID drives individually? You can see that in Disk Utilities. I would also download Rember and test your RAM.
I'm not sure why you can't export with Quicktime Conversion to ProRes 422 Standard, or HQ. Please expand further on this? Just do a self contained Quicktime, don't do reference as the file will have to reference your RAID again, which could be the problem. Of course this will only be useful if you have a final cut. You will hardly lose any quality, trust me, I've done tests between Uncomp 10 bit, ProRes, and ProRes HQ, and the differences are barely discernible.
From now on, the material I work with, HQ is a bit overkill and standard 422 is just as good, you'll never tell the difference. According to Apple's ProRes white paper, Uncomp 10 bit requires 1326 Mbps, while ProRes 422 HQ requires 220 Mbps. I can be wrong this, as I have been before, so someone more knowledgeable should answer to this.
My problem it seems, stems from a bad drive, and that a software RAID 0 with only 2 drives internally was barely fast enough, in my opinion. I'm going external RAID 5 with 8 drives and a card from now on.
I have a feeling you might have the same issue: The speed tests say you have ample amounts of speed, but there may be a bad drive in your array that you haven't noticed yet.
Seagate also has an app to test drive integrity. This is only for internal drives though. And the process is a PITA. Maybe there is another app that can help test hardware integrity?
Good luck,
Joseph

Mac 2.66 GHz Quad Intel Xeon
OSX 10.6.4
FCP 7.0.2
AE CS4
Quicktime Pro 7.6.4
8GB RAM
2x1TB RAID O (All Media Scratch Disk)
Blackmagic Intensity Pro
ATI Radeon X1900
Panasonic Lumix GH1, Panasonic HVX200A, Panasonic DVX100A, Canon 5DMKII, 7D


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